CCM hosts guest lecture about Julius Eastman on April 14

Guest speaker Ellie Hisama's lecture will be presented via Zoom

Each semester, CCM welcomes distinguished experts for a series of musical discussions and lectures that are open to the general public and free to attend.

This semester's Thinking About Music Lecture Series concludes at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, April 14, with a presentation by Ellie Hisama, PhD, Dean of the Faculty of Music and Professor of Music from the University of Toronto. The title of Hisama's talk is "The Fragment and the Long Song of Julius Eastman." This lecture will be presented via Zoom. The talk is open to the entire UC community, but registration is required. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Zoom meeting.

About the Lecture

This talk examines the ways in which the archive of the composer, pianist, and vocalist Julius Eastman (1940-1990) performs an act of refusal. Eastman’s subjectivity as a queer African American musician and the narratives about his life strongly resonate with researchers and the public who are eager to excavate the work of Black artists and musicians. In writing a “long song” about Julius Eastman, this project brings together the fragments of Eastman’s work, focusing on his radical sonic expressions of and commentary on black being in compositions from the 1970s and 1980s. It serves as an initiative in music studies that offers tangible pathways of listening to Julius Eastman’s uncompromising and fierce musical engagements of refusal.

About the Guest Speaker

A photo of CCM guest speaker Ellie Hisama. Photo/University of Toronto

CCM guest speaker Ellie Hisama. Photo/University of Toronto

Ellie M. Hisama is Dean of the Faculty of Music and Professor of Music at the University of Toronto. She joined the University of Toronto in 2021, having previously taught at Columbia University as a member of the Theory and Historical Musicology areas. Her research and teaching have addressed issues of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, the social and political dimensions of music, and public engagement. She is the author of Gendering Musical Modernism: The Music of Ruth Crawford, Marion Bauer, and Miriam Gideon, which was named a Choice Outstanding Academic Title, and co-editor of the volumes Ruth Crawford Seeger’s Worlds: Innovation and Tradition in Twentieth-century American Music and Critical Minded: New Approaches to Hip Hop Studies.

She received a Career Enhancement Fellowship from the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; a Tsunoda Ryusaku Senior Fellowship, Waseda University (Tokyo); and the Ethyle R. Wolfe Institute for the Humanities Faculty Fellowship. She has delivered numerous international plenary and keynote addresses and was named the Kenneth H. Peacock Lecturer at the University of Toronto and the Robert Samels Visiting Scholar at Indiana University, and was selected to deliver the 2022 American Musicological Society Women and Gender Endowed Lecture.

She has taught at many institutions including Brooklyn College, the City University of New York's Graduate Center, Connecticut College, and Harvard University. She was nominated twice by Columbia College's Academic Awards Committee for the Mark Van Doren Award for Teaching, and served as Director of the Institute for Studies in American Music [now the Hitchcock Institute] at Brooklyn College.

As an academic leader, she has received multiple grants for work that engages with issues of structural racism and gender and racial justice. Working with the Division of University Advancement at the University of Toronto, she helped to secure a $7-million gift to the Faculty of Music in support of a new recital hall, the Jay Telfer Forum. This gift was the largest ever received by the Faculty, and one of the most significant in support of music in Canada. At Columbia University, she was a Provost Leadership Fellow and an inaugural recipient of the Provost’s Faculty Mentoring Award. She is Founding Director of For the Daughters of Harlem: Working in Sound, an initiative that brings students from public schools to the university to create, record, and reflect upon their work in sound. She continues this project in Toronto with funding from the Nick Nurse Foundation, collaborating with colleagues at the University of Toronto to work in its renowned Electronic Music Studio.

About CCM's Thinking About Music Lecture Series

Since its inception in 1997, CCM's Thinking About Music Series has presented nearly 130 lectures and one symposium by guests from a number of different colleges, universities, schools of music, foundations, institutes, museums and publications. The series is co-directed by Professor of Music Theory Steven Cahn and Associate Professor of Musicology Jeongwon Joe.

The subjects of the lectures have covered historical musicology, music theory and ethnomusicology, along with the ancillary fields of organology, dance, music business and law, cognitive psychology, and the philosophy, theology and sociology of music.

CCM’s Thinking About Music Series is sponsored by the Joseph and Frances Jones Poetker Fund of the Cambridge Charitable Foundation, Ritter & Randolph, LLC, Corporate Counsel; along with support from the Dean's Office, the Graduate Student Association and the Division of Composition, Musicology and Theory at CCM. These music theory and history discussions feature diverse topics presented by distinguished experts from all over the United States and are designed to engage participants’ imaginations and to consider music in new ways.

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A preeminent institution for the performing and media arts, the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) is the largest single source of performing arts presentations in the state of Ohio. All event dates and programs are subject to change. For a complete calendar of public events, visit

Featured image at top: A decorative graphic containing the words "The Joseph and Frances Jones Poetker Thinking About Music Lecture Series." Graphic Design/Mikki Graff

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